Thursday, December 07, 2006


Do you ever find yourself with so many lists of things to do (in your head or otherwise) that you end up spinning your wheels and wasting time? I haven't made a dent in my Christmas shopping list, haven't done any seasonal decorating, haven't cleaned up the yard after the fiasco of November weather, haven't dusted the house in over six weeks (I'm a champion vacuumer but I hate dusting) ... you get the idea.

penguin 4

I've been having trouble concentrating, even on my favourite blogs, so I've been painting penguins between December's stepped-up activities and trips to the hospital, etc. I don't know what the attraction is, and it's not like they appeal to mainstream art buyers (Heather is anything but mainstream) -- which is neither here nor there as most of my art isn't mainstream anyway -- but it's been a great diversion, one I plan to explore further, maybe on paper. I'm avoiding posting them on Etsy right now because I don't want to compete with the paintings whose prices I've reduced for the month of December.

My mind, while painting, has been preying on the whole Etsy concept. Is there anyone who has insight into this growing phenomenon? I notice that some artisans are hugely successful and others, whose artwork and crafts are just as interesting, not so much. Supposedly quality always sells, but maybe only if it's under $50? Then there are artists like ashleyg who have developed a massive following. Her work is great: quirky, full of character and she has a huge range of products to offer. Is she an example of an artist whose marketing skills and business sense dovetail so well with her creative talent that she's developed a self-generating following?

Thoughts to ponder as the year draws to a close and I think about what to do and why in 2007. Thinking about marketing takes up way too much of my time these days. Anyone want to take it off my hands and be my agent? :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be rubbish as your agent.1)I'd keep all the work. 2) I'm too far away 3) I'm hopeless at commerce
Now, I've just spent more than 2 hours trawling through art sites and I'd promised myself that today I'd do something about the card list.Too late to pull prints I think I'll have to do photos.
More penguins, please!

7/12/06 3:14 p.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Hello Andrea.
I've been gone for a while. This season always seems to have my mind elsewhere. I love the painting you've been up to. I hope everything is relatively sane for you and you family. By the sounds of things you are managing just as well as any of us. Who needs a clean yard in the winter anyway?!

7/12/06 4:57 p.m.  
Blogger susan said...

i am so with you andrea .... shopping? hate it.
\lists go on and on, marketing is well, marketing, but hang in there, you are the REAL deal...

7/12/06 5:50 p.m.  
Anonymous B-man said...

agent b-man here

further to my last post regarding marketing - as long as you have your elephant (or at least know someone who has seen one at the zoo within the last year) we are well on our way to global dominance.

best book EVER on marketing - "The Tipping Point" - by Malcolm Gladwell. which is in fact not about 'mah-ket-yng' so much as it is about recognizing that success is not so much about who you know but about who knows about you.

and bearing in mind that penguins are beating out the not quite as cool new bond at the box office you can ride your virtual elephant through town by sending a small penguin art piece (like on a mug) to each of: elijah woods, robin williams, brittany murphy, hugh jackman , nicole kidman and david letterman (the star voices in the movie - be sure to tell them they are your fave!).

In no time at all your works will "TIP" the market, your mug (hee hee) will be seen on national TV and global dominance will be yours.

then just sit back and luxuriate in your newfound fame and fortune.

so there you go - the real secret to marketing.... be bold, do strange things and create your own personal art epidemic.

full instructions can be found here:

and above all - HAVE FUN!


hi to the guys - u comin out to the rock this festive season????

7/12/06 6:43 p.m.  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

Oh! Andrea! I think everyone is missing time those days! I personnaly am! I have about a hundred lists of things to do.... Blah! Hope you will find someone to help ya! Your art is sooo wonderful. (Love the penguins)... Never stop makin' it! I would not want to see this World without Andrea's paintings! :)

7/12/06 8:21 p.m.  
Blogger Joyce said...

try this: if you keep up with the vacuuming, you just kind of vacuum up dust off of things as you see it. vacuum the bookshelf. If you're as far behind on the dusting thing as I am, then it actually makes a difference. Or here's another thought-- leave the dust, sprinkle on some salt, call it "snow" and, voila! You've decorated for Christmas.

7/12/06 9:03 p.m.  
Anonymous kyknoord said...

Art is a bit like the stock market. There are trends and fashions, but they aren't easy to predict.

7/12/06 10:54 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

I leave for a few days when you're 'not blogging' as well - and look at all your posts!

Your first paragraph sounds just like life at my house... Unfortunately, it is not going to get any better any time soon.

I do like your penguins. Agents are good things.

8/12/06 1:28 a.m.  
Blogger Ces said...

First your list of activities that you need to do just reminded me that I have not done anything at all except buy one Christmas gift yesterday and it was online. Oh I am going to be up a creek. I have not even made a list yet and we have guests coming an I am also working.

Andrea could it be that buying art is like buying purses? People want to buy the real Hermes, Gucci and Bottega Veneta but can't afford it so they buy those cheap knock-offs and enjoy them for a few weeks or months and then get rid of them at garage sales.

I don't know, I am not really a very good merchant. I'd give away my paintings but even some of my friends are asking me to paint something else that matches their couch and the color of the wall - SAY WHAT!!?

8/12/06 4:29 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Dinahmow: You just gave me an idea: penguin Christmas cards!

Brian: I like your attitude -- and I've missed you. Post soon please!

Susan: Thanks, my dear -- and after this I MUST go shpping.

B-Man: Oo -- I love that mug idea. The wheels are a-spinnin' even more!

MP: You are so kind and loyal.

Joyce: Our dust isn't that white but the grey snow I've seen around here lately (almost gone now) would just about work I think... with some salt, of course. :)

Kyknoord: I predict that you're correct in your assessment.

Tara: I've been posting but my brain is still switched OFF so I probably shouldn't.

Ces: that's brilliantly insightful. Maybe I should be thinking in terms of cheap prints? (wheels turning some more...) We'd never get anything done if we shopped togetehr, would we? :)

8/12/06 10:42 a.m.  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

First, I love the penguins and think they fit right in with your fish and birds. I looked at the artist you linked who sells tons of her little prints of strange little people. I guess doing a daily print-out of computer art and packing and shipping it off in exchange for a few bucks could add up but would it be satisfying as an artist? Maybe, if that's the artwork you enjoy doing. But painting with real paint on canvas seems like more fun. I'm sure you've already considered having good quality prints (giclees?) made of your paintings (or good digital scans that you can print small from home) and selling those prints? At least that way, like ashleyg, you'd have endless inventory.

8/12/06 8:35 p.m.  
Blogger Within Without said...

It's called procrastination, A, and I am the master of it, and it only multiplies during times like this when there's so many more things to do.

What percentage of the take would an agent get, anyhow?


8/12/06 9:02 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

Thanks for calling me "not mainstream". I'll take that as a compliment! Although, I'm not much of an art critique - I only know what I like and what I don't like and I'm quite fond of my penguin. It looks a little lonely on the wall though. I may need another one some day.

8/12/06 9:22 p.m.  
Anonymous silver said...

I enjoy your blog and find your art process fascinating. You're on a roll, a fantastic roll; follow your instincts.
I think you'll find this blog of Duane Keiser to be of interest:

8/12/06 11:16 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Jana: You're onto something here. I've been thinking about this. Wish I had a colour laser printer!!

WW: Oh, how well I know the affliction! As for being my agent -- for you -- 75% ! :)

Heather: Not mainstream is the highest compliment! :)

Silver: Thanks and thanks for visiting. I know Duane Keiser's work but had never seen this blog -- interesting!

9/12/06 6:42 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said this better myself! I feel like I'm spinning my wheels right now and am just not getting very far. I love lists too! I'm tackling one day at a time, and no, I'm not recovering at this point in life. Just good philosphy to get me through a busy month.

On the topic of Etsy, I just started selling there again and am pleasantly surpirsed. Much better than ebay where I felt like I was giving my work away. But, I have realized that I can't just build the store and people will takes time to let people know you're out there. So, I am taking a look at how the more successful Etsyians are making it work for themselves.

I've also stuck to smaller, affordable items on Etsy. I'd like to get into a gallery this year and don't want to compete there.

Your work is so fabulous!

9/12/06 8:30 a.m.  
Blogger Bibi said...

Stick to your core genius...which is obviously your art!

If you don't hire a company to market you, you could go to a good school and talk w. a professor ... often they have a couple of 'star' students who want to build their portoflio or book, and will take on a project for a very reasonable price / or sometimes, pro bono for extra school credit. I had a very good experience with this.

9/12/06 3:41 p.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

I've been putting off responding to this because I think there is a reason we don't have as much time as we used to... I just can't put my finger on it...

I love the idea of a penguin mug - in fact I bought a penguin mug for Jim as an anniversary present this year.

10/12/06 1:00 a.m.  
Blogger mist1 said...

I am putting an agent on my wish list this year. Right after Trust Fund and Sugar Daddy. Are you listening, Santa?

10/12/06 8:34 p.m.  

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